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SAINT PAUL, Minn. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Catholic legislators have been instrumental in the nation's most radical abortion bill becoming state law.
The so-called Protect Reproductive Options Act, or PRO Act, allows for the killing of unborn babies up until birth — by any method, with no maternal age restrictions and for any reason. Minnesota's Senate passed the lethal legislation on Saturday, following 15 hours of debate. As promised, Gov. Tim Walz, a two-term Democrat, signed the bill into law on Tuesday afternoon.
"We are enacting the most extreme bill in the country regarding youth sterilization, late term abortions and public viability for a vast array of new reproductive rights," lamented Sen. Mark Johnson, R-Minn., minority leader for State District 1.
The bill, introduced as HF1, enshrines in state law the murder of unborn children. It defines the so-called rights as "health care offered, arranged, or furnished for the purpose of preventing pregnancy, terminating a pregnancy, managing pregnancy loss, or improving maternal health and birth outcomes." It continues, "Reproductive health care includes, but is not limited to, contraception; sterilization; preconception care; maternity care; abortion care; family planning and fertility services; and counseling regarding reproductive health care."
Following the Senate's vote, Sen. Jim Abeler, R-Minn., for State District 35, chided, "It's abortion on demand for all. Let's not mince words. That's what it is."
Thirteen counterfeit Catholics — all Democrats — helped advance the radical bill. The 10 Catholics in the House who voted in favor of it are as follows:
Only one Catholic Democrat, freshman Rep. Gene Pelowski Jr., voted against the measure.
The three Catholics in the Senate who supported the bill are:
Church Militant contacted the archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis to ask how — if at all — it intends to discipline the self-identified Catholics who voted for the bill. The archdiocese did not respond by press time.
Just days before the Senate's weekend vote, Abp. Bernard Hebda released a brief video urging the faithful to write and call their state leaders to oppose the PRO Act. In the video, he also explained the piece of legislation's abhorrent nature:
Essentially, it's a bill that works to enshrine into law an abortion regime that disregards prenatal life. The PRO Act is part of the most extreme abortion legislative agenda in Minnesota history, allowing for abortion for any reason and at any time without any regulation. How disturbing that a preborn child whose heart is beating, who can feel pain and who may even be viable outside the womb is treated with such disdain.
In what appeared to be a last-ditch effort, Minnesota's Catholic bishops sent a statement to lawmakers one day prior to the House vote, advising legislators not to pass the measure:
In a post-Dobbs world in which states that allow abortion have the responsibility to both regulate the practice and protect nascent human life, we should be working to find common ground on the challenges before us in Minnesota. We stand firm that every child should be welcomed in life and protected by law.
Critics of the bill noted a 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court decision — Doe v. Gomez — already protects abortion in the state. However, Democratic legislators claim the PRO Act is needed to thwart future legal efforts to override those purported protections.
Republicans introduced 65 amendments to reduce the measure's severity, including parental notification and a ban on third-trimester abortions, but the Democrats voted all of them down.
After the Senate passed the bill, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life released a message lambasting the bill:
Under this bill, even babies who are old enough to live outside the womb and to feel excruciating pain have no protection from lethal violence. The extremism of H.F. 1 puts Minnesota in the same category as just a handful of countries around the world, including North Korea and China.
Minnesota now joins Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon and Vermont in providing unlimited abortion access.
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